It Could Be Your Adrenals… Part 2
So now you’re pretty sure your adrenals are suboptimal and looking for hope. Good news! There are plenty of things that you can do to help nourish them! This post will address different tools we can use to help you flourish in your day to day life.
Adrenal dysfunction is largely due to stress. The easy thing to say is to remove unnecessary stressors. We get that it is easier said than done, but if you can even make small tweaks, it can have a profound effect on your energy and vitality. Following good sleep hygiene practices are paramount. We heal when we sleep and by making sure our room is completely dark, eliminating screen time for 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and creating a relaxing routine before bed can all help us to sleep better. Being in nature and under the sun will also help nourish our adrenals. Believe it or not, exercise can help – but with a caveat. Things like yoga, tai chi, bear crawls, and HIIT training can help reduce stress on the adrenals; but long endurance training actually increases the burden on your adrenals. Athletes who train over 40 km/week have shown significantly elevated cortisol levels for a significantly longer period of time. Lastly, massage will help to heal the adrenals. And who doesn’t love a good massage!
There is no truer adage than “you are what you eat”. To heal our adrenals, we want to put the most quality nutrients into our bodies, including vitamin C, B5, and B6; which are all necessary for adrenal function and cortisol production. Another way to support your adrenals is to cycle you carbs- eating low amounts of carbs in the morning and slowly increasing them throughout the day. This, along with avoiding caffeine and alcohol are sure fire ways to support your adrenals. If you are anxious and have “monkey mind” at night, consider eating foods rich in phosphatidylserine and L-Theanine.
Adaptogens are the naturopath’s go-to class of herbs for healing the adrenals. There are many herbs in this class, but its best to consult a naturopathic doctor to see which one is right for you! Nervines pair well with adaptogens as they help to calm the central nervous system, which quiets the brain and decreases the messages sent to the adrenals to produce more cortisol. If your cortisol is high, consider some cortisol lowering herbs too. Check out my instagram for some of my favorite adrenal support products!
GLANDULARS and HYDROCORTISONE
These two supplements/medications are our “heavy hitters”. They are for the most depleted. They help aid the adrenals by providing support, like training wheels on a bike. These take some of the load off the adrenals and allow them time to heal by providing the body with the hormones instead of depending on the adrenals to provide them.
If you think adrenal fatigue is in your way to living a vital and full life, make an appointment with us and we are happy to help!